White paper

Play value increases with sensory play

How sensory playground equipment affects play

New research from KOMPAN Play Institute shows that sensory play items in sensory playground equipment increases play value and play duration in toddlers

What is sensory playground equipment? It is items on a playground that appeals to some of the main senses, such as touch, sight, and hearing that can engage children, especially younger kids. Including sensory elements in your playground project can enrich the play experience by engaging the child more fully in play. Toddlers learn and develop skills through outdoor play. But what is the right play stimulation level to ensure development and learning and not over-stimulation?

KOMPAN Play Institute set out to examine toddlers play, and in particular, how sensory playground features effect and stimulate toddlers' play. Observations were done on children from the age of 1 to 4 years old at a nursery and kindergarten in Denmark. The findings were in many ways surprising! Read them in our whitepaper through the link below. While you're at it, learn more about KOMPAN's inclusive playground equipment. 

Play value increases with sensory play

5 considerations

5 Design considerations for group and pretend play in toddlers

  1. Based on these observations, we have five design considerations for toddler playgrounds for pretend and social play stimulation: Right ergonomic measures for toddlers. Make sure that they can reach, manipulate, look over or into items such as mirrors.

  2. Rich tactile and manipulative items for exploration and pretend play. Vary materials and functionalities in play features, e.g. soft and hard materials, movable and stationary items.

  3. Themes that toddlers recognize (e.g. house, window, mirror, watch, desk, curtain).

  4. Open, ground level based units mean play from outside also.

  5. Sectioned functionalities in unites: sides with or without play features etc. make for varied play opportunities and more groups